These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Browse posts tag by tradition
HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC (all)

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC (all)

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC – Complete document
What Does the Tradition Component of the Quadrilateral Have to Say Regarding the LGBT Debate?

Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine, 2014 Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

Philipp Melanchthon, the great German reformer and quite possibly the first systematic theologian of the Protestant movement, famously said, “In necessary things, unity. In doubtful things, liberty. In all things, charity.”1 As debate surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community grows and intensifies, such counsel is no doubt wise and necessary.

While in graduate school I read John Boswell’s work, Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.2 Boswell gained prominence in 1980 by receiving a National Book Award for his investigation into what he saw as a historically accurate overview of homosexuals, their challenges, and their freedoms up to the fourteenth century.3 Within Same-Sex Unions he tried to demonstrate that in the first millennium of the common era communities had, within the structures of Christianity, actually allowed same-sex couples to cohabitate and live functionally as married. Talking about the cultural ethos of the Greco- Roman world and the development of marriage rites and liturgical practices, Boswell attempted to demonstrate that examples of the recognition and blessing of same-sex unions are neither novel nor exceptional. Unfortunately, his argument lacks a smoking gun and conveys no conclusive proof. We all read from a particular bias, with particular cultural and religious assumptions. Boswell, who sadly died from AIDS- related complications shortly after the release of Same-Sex Unions,

WOMEN IN MINISTRY — Some Hermeneutical Reflections

WOMEN IN MINISTRY — Some Hermeneutical Reflections

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

Introduction

Almost everyone believes and allows women to be in ministry. Even those who will disagree with my views on the matter do, in fact, recognize not only the privilege but duty of women to be in ministry (where would the church be if throughout history women had not served in nearly every form of ministry!) The first question is: what limitations have been paced on the leadership of women in ministry and why? The second question is: are these limitations general and universal or specific and contextual? I will return to these questions at the conclusion of this paper.

How We Treat The Bible

I begin with several assumptions I make about the Bible. First, the Bible is the Word of God and is therefore the final authority for Christian believing and living. The Bible is not so much a single book as it is a library of books — different kinds of literature, written over long periods of time, for different life settings of the people of God. Despite all these differences, however, we believe the Bible is unified in its witness to the one true God and reveals His plan for the world and humanity.

These assumptions are critical to our discussion. Let me explain. It is not enough to find a verse or passage that teaches something and accept that as the only or the most important word on the subject. We must rather seek to get a sense of the flow of Scripture,

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

By Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

What Does the Tradition Component of the Quadrilateral Have to Say Regarding the LGBT Debate?

Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine, 2014

Even a cursory examination of Church history finds numerous statements from mothers and fathers of the faith regarding sexuality, including what contemporary discourse has identified as LGBT sexual orientation.1 When it comes to sexual activity beyond the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman, the Church speaks with one voice: such practice is not consistent with God’s will for human sexuality, procreation, and fulfillment in marriage.

Though the focus of such teaching has varied, from a perversion of roles (males playing the part of females), to the corruption of youth (pedophilia), to the inability to procreate (homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life), to the abuse of power (including clergy who engage in sexual liberties), the Church has been univocal. All sexual conduct outside of God’s perfect plan is “ordered toward an instrinsic moral evil.”2

However, in recent years the Church has also been clear and consistent in a call to mercy and compassion. On October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church published its second document on the subject. Signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II, it was called a “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” Within it,

FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Dr. Howard Snyder

Bishop L. R. Marston got it right when he named his 1960 centennial history “From Age to Age a Living Witness.” Free Methodism’s witness is still a living one, despite the amazing changes of the past one hundred fifty years. Our new age is the twenty-first century.

Today there are nineteen Free Methodist bishops throughout the world, and only four of them are North Americans. Worldwide Free Methodist growth has birthed a church where less than 10 percent of its approximately 900,000 members live in the United States and Canada (about 76,000 in the United States; 7,800 in Canada).

What would B. T. Roberts think? Certainly he would celebrate! This is what he would have wanted to see. Of course he would quickly ask: Is the church maintaining the Bible standard of Christianity? Is it preaching the gospel to the poor?

The growth of global Free Methodism truly is something to celebrate. Like most movements, Free Methodism is more dynamic at its growing edges than at its historic center. But signs of life are everywhere. Like a one-hundred-fifty-year-old tree, the FM Church grows mainly in its branches. Yet it still draws life from its roots and trunk, even as it is nourished by its branches. For continued health, the roots must grow ever deeper as the trunk grows sturdier.[1]

Free Methodism’s roots go deep and far. We trust they are still nourished by Scripture, in good gospel ground.